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Children Rule of Law

Orissa HC grants bail to child in conflict with law after three years in custody

The Court pulls up investigating agency for it ‘Lackadaisical Attitude’

Sabrangindia 16 May 2022

Orissa HC

On May 12, 2022 the Orissa High Court presided by Single-judge Bench of Justice V. Narasingh granted bail to a Child in Conflict with the Law (CCL) who had been under custody for almost three and a half years. The Court does not want the accused child to suffer because of apathy of investigating agency.

While hearing the bail application of the CCL, the Bench came down heavily on the investigating agency for its apathetic approach and said, “Proceedings of the High Court cannot be held hostage to the whims of the investigating agency and for their lackadaisical attitude, rights of an accused cannot be marginalized, needs no emphasis.” The Court even suggested for the necessary corrective action to be taken to make the Police machinery more responsive to the needs of Justice.

In this case, the Child in Conflict is an accused in a murder case which is registered with the Bijepur Police Station in Bargarh district. She had filed the Bail Application in Orissa High Court in 2021.

Brief background of the case

The CCL, an accused in a murder case registered at Bijepur police station in Bargarh district, was arrested on December 8, 2018. Since then, she has been under custody. She was charged under section 450, 307, 302, 34 and 120B of Indian Penal Code.

The accused had filed her bail application before the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Court at Bargarh, which was rejected by Additional Session Judge-Cum-Special Judge, on July 23, 2019. In challenge to the POCSO Court Order, the CCL had filed Bail Application in the High Court of Orissa on June 22, 2021.

This High Court presided by Justice Dash had passed an Order dated, June 24, 2021 in which he directed the Learned Council for the State to obtain the case diary and the report related to the conduct and behaviour of the child in conflict with law during her stay in the observation home for the period, by next date. Since then, the adjournments were sought to produce the case diary.

Court’s Observations

After the Order passed by the High Court dates June 24, 2021, numerous adjournments were sought by the Advocate for the state to produce the case diary.

The Court observed that two letters were sent from the office of the Advocate General dated June 24 and June 28, 2021 to the IIC Bijepur District Bargarh to inform about the production of the up-to-date Case Diary. The concerned authorities did not respond.

Similar letter was sent from the office of the Advocate General dated November 6, 2021 to the Superintendent of Police Bargarh and IIC Bijepur in the District Bargarh. But till date the up-to-date Case Diary was not submitted to the Court.

The Court thus observed, “As noted petitioner is in custody since 08.12.2018 and cannot be allowed to suffer because of the apathy of investigating agency.” The Court also held the investigating agencies responsible for the delay in the matter and stated, “Proceedings of the High Court cannot be held hostage to the whims of the investigating agency and for their lackadaisical attitude, rights of an accused cannot be marginalized, needs no emphasis.”

The Court on observing the repeated adjournments and the Investigating officers were seen not following the Court Orders held, “It is indeed disconcerting that the concerned District police administration have scant regard for the orders passed by this Court and have chosen to disregard repeated communication from the office of the Advocate General for submission of Case Diary for which the Case has to suffer adjournments.” The Court, considering the age of the Petitioner and the time she had spent under custody, constrained itself from granting any further adjournments to the State’s Counsel.

The Court further stated, “It is fervently hoped that necessary corrective action shall be taken so as to make the Police machinery more responsive to the needs of administration of justice.”

Court’s Judgment

On May 12, 2022 while granting bail to the child in conflict with law after perusing the materials on record, the Bench stated, “On a conspectus of the materials on record this Court directs the petitioner to be released on bail on such terms to be fixed by the learned Court in seisin over the matter.”

The Court further requested the Registry to send a copy of this order to Principal Secretary Home Government of Odisha, Director General of Police, Range DIG and the concerned Superintendent of Police for their knowledge and necessary action.

The entire Judgment may be read here: 

 

Related:

Delhi Violence: Delhi HC issues notice in Gulfisha Fatima's bail plea

Jahangirpuri violence: Delhi Court refuses bail to eight accused

Cruel, diabolic, barbaric, gruesome and inhuman: Allahabad High Court on Lakhimpur Kheri massacre

Delhi HC adjourns hearings in bail pleas of Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam

Orissa HC grants bail to child in conflict with law after three years in custody

The Court pulls up investigating agency for it ‘Lackadaisical Attitude’

Orissa HC

On May 12, 2022 the Orissa High Court presided by Single-judge Bench of Justice V. Narasingh granted bail to a Child in Conflict with the Law (CCL) who had been under custody for almost three and a half years. The Court does not want the accused child to suffer because of apathy of investigating agency.

While hearing the bail application of the CCL, the Bench came down heavily on the investigating agency for its apathetic approach and said, “Proceedings of the High Court cannot be held hostage to the whims of the investigating agency and for their lackadaisical attitude, rights of an accused cannot be marginalized, needs no emphasis.” The Court even suggested for the necessary corrective action to be taken to make the Police machinery more responsive to the needs of Justice.

In this case, the Child in Conflict is an accused in a murder case which is registered with the Bijepur Police Station in Bargarh district. She had filed the Bail Application in Orissa High Court in 2021.

Brief background of the case

The CCL, an accused in a murder case registered at Bijepur police station in Bargarh district, was arrested on December 8, 2018. Since then, she has been under custody. She was charged under section 450, 307, 302, 34 and 120B of Indian Penal Code.

The accused had filed her bail application before the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Court at Bargarh, which was rejected by Additional Session Judge-Cum-Special Judge, on July 23, 2019. In challenge to the POCSO Court Order, the CCL had filed Bail Application in the High Court of Orissa on June 22, 2021.

This High Court presided by Justice Dash had passed an Order dated, June 24, 2021 in which he directed the Learned Council for the State to obtain the case diary and the report related to the conduct and behaviour of the child in conflict with law during her stay in the observation home for the period, by next date. Since then, the adjournments were sought to produce the case diary.

Court’s Observations

After the Order passed by the High Court dates June 24, 2021, numerous adjournments were sought by the Advocate for the state to produce the case diary.

The Court observed that two letters were sent from the office of the Advocate General dated June 24 and June 28, 2021 to the IIC Bijepur District Bargarh to inform about the production of the up-to-date Case Diary. The concerned authorities did not respond.

Similar letter was sent from the office of the Advocate General dated November 6, 2021 to the Superintendent of Police Bargarh and IIC Bijepur in the District Bargarh. But till date the up-to-date Case Diary was not submitted to the Court.

The Court thus observed, “As noted petitioner is in custody since 08.12.2018 and cannot be allowed to suffer because of the apathy of investigating agency.” The Court also held the investigating agencies responsible for the delay in the matter and stated, “Proceedings of the High Court cannot be held hostage to the whims of the investigating agency and for their lackadaisical attitude, rights of an accused cannot be marginalized, needs no emphasis.”

The Court on observing the repeated adjournments and the Investigating officers were seen not following the Court Orders held, “It is indeed disconcerting that the concerned District police administration have scant regard for the orders passed by this Court and have chosen to disregard repeated communication from the office of the Advocate General for submission of Case Diary for which the Case has to suffer adjournments.” The Court, considering the age of the Petitioner and the time she had spent under custody, constrained itself from granting any further adjournments to the State’s Counsel.

The Court further stated, “It is fervently hoped that necessary corrective action shall be taken so as to make the Police machinery more responsive to the needs of administration of justice.”

Court’s Judgment

On May 12, 2022 while granting bail to the child in conflict with law after perusing the materials on record, the Bench stated, “On a conspectus of the materials on record this Court directs the petitioner to be released on bail on such terms to be fixed by the learned Court in seisin over the matter.”

The Court further requested the Registry to send a copy of this order to Principal Secretary Home Government of Odisha, Director General of Police, Range DIG and the concerned Superintendent of Police for their knowledge and necessary action.

The entire Judgment may be read here: 

 

Related:

Delhi Violence: Delhi HC issues notice in Gulfisha Fatima's bail plea

Jahangirpuri violence: Delhi Court refuses bail to eight accused

Cruel, diabolic, barbaric, gruesome and inhuman: Allahabad High Court on Lakhimpur Kheri massacre

Delhi HC adjourns hearings in bail pleas of Umar Khalid and Sharjeel Imam

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